Jerry Remy: Foreign Players Should “Learn Baseball Language”

The Red Sox say they do not share his views.

The Red Sox are disavowing comments made by analyst Jerry Remy after the announcer said the league should outlaw translators on the pitcher’s mound and that a Japanese player should “learn baseball language.”

The comments, about Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka during last night’s game, were quickly condemned. This morning, the Sox weighed in through a spokeswoman, who said the team does “not share the views expressed by Jerry Remy during last night’s broadcast.”

Remy apologized in a tweet late Wednesday morning. “I sincerely apologize to those who were offended by my comments during the telecast last night,” he wrote.

The controversy began when, after a visit to the mound, Remy weighed in about the fact that a Japanese translator joined Tanaka and Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild. “I forgot with Tanaka they take out a translator,” Remy said. “I don’t think that should be legal.”

“Seriously?” replied commentator Dave O’Brien.

“I really don’t,” Remy responded, adding, “Learn baseball language. Learn. It’s pretty simple. You break it down pretty easy between pitching coach and pitcher after a period of time.”

O’Brien then noted that “probably they’re concerned about nuance being lost in some of those conversations.”

It didn’t help that earlier in the day Phillies commentator Mike Schmidt was also criticized for suggesting that Venezuelan center fielder Odubel Herrera couldn’t be a team leader due to “a language barrier.” He later apologized.

The league has only allowed translators on the field since 2013.


Spencer Buell Staff Writer at Boston Magazine sbuell@bostonmagazine.com